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Aug 13, 2009

Jogjakarta: 1000 Days Later

I arrived in Tugu Train Station at 5.30 am that Saturday morning after spending approximately 9 hours journey from Jakarta. An encouragement hug was given by B before my train left - i needed that.

The air was cool and crisp. I heard language and accent familiar to my ear, offering foods, snacks and transport. Once you're in Jogja, it's a must for you to ride on a Becak (tricycle traditional transport) and just feel the air touches your face.

Usually, Lusy has already stood by, ready to pick me up. But since she's back to her hometown, i prefer to stay a little longer at the station. An hour afterward, my aunt and uncle also arrived from Jakarta. The family from my father side gathered in Jogja for the 1000 days commemoration of my father's pass. After a cup of coffee with my aunt and uncle, which i think they didn't really enjoy that much, i decided to stay and wandered around the city by myself. I have no good reason to go straight to my father's old place anyway.

I met up with a good old friend from college, Beni, the very same morning. He took my red flowery backpack so that i can walk lightly around the city. It was too early to stroll in Malioboro, it was only 8.00 am. That was the time when i spotted that Trans Jogja bus shelter in front of Inna Garuda hotel. "Let's try on this!" i said to myself. Minutes later, I was nicely seated inside Trans Jogja bus, heading towards Ambarukmo Mall.

After some killing time at Ambarukmo Plaza - AmPlaz (i heard AmPlaz, i reckon Ambon Plaza), rummaging about shoes and reminiscing the joy of high school every time i saw group of girls wearing tartan blue skirt and over sized shirt (that's Stella Duce's uniform for Friday and Saturday) - I was picked up by Beni and Vina, his fiancee. Together, we went to Solo to Ardy-Nita's wedding reception.

Funny, I was the only one who showed up single. Funny for other people, i suppose. Unknowingly (or rather, dumbly) talking about how pity one was for one person in front of that person as if that person is not exist is not acceptable. What a strength, i only needed to endure such gazes for 3 hours.

I went straight to my father's old place (as for now, i'm gonna refer to it as grandpa's) later that night. I arrived at midnight, in a familiar house, a house i used to know. They (my uncle's family who lived there with my grandpa) have built some new extensions to the house. Blah, i guess they have money after all. I greeted my family there, then greeted my mom (she's been in Jogja for 2 days), then forget about everything else.

The House

I slept deep for 4-5 hours. The cracking sound of incoming family members woke me up, lazily. They really got what it took to bug other people peace! They shouted louder than those barking dogs.

That warm day, I saw my father's sanctuary. It's made from shinny black marmer with a small white/gold Italian-made cross on the headrest. I looked closer, I saw the mistake carvings on the information tablet. They wrote May 20 as my father birth date... when in fact, it's August 29. Want to hear some funny stuff? They blamed my Mom for their own mistake! They said my Mom was the one who gave such information, yelled at her in front of people - I was not there at the time.

The following day was SSDD. Same Shit Different Day. We served foods and snacks to people. We held a commemoration mass. I worked and helped people out like zombie. As soon as people left, i wiped my smile out of my face. I only got mellow and heartbroken when i saw my Mom's crying in the dark beside my father's tomb later that night. So much love, so much pain. At last, my job with all "commemoration" fuss... was done.

I took my mother and my little sister for a trip on Tuesday. We rarely have a holiday together, so i took the moment to get them to Prambanan Temple and Kraton Ratu Boko ruins (still, with Trans Jogja). We ate lunch at Kedai Cobek at AmPlaz, a must-try restaurant in my opinion. My mom's appetite was hilarious!! SHE ATE A LOT, like she has not been feed for a week (which was quite close to the truth). Then we had a near-fire experience while browsing for shoes! hahaha thin smokes coming out from nowhere... it was a "kortsluit". at Malioboro Mall was my next stop. I met Jenny and Inov, my former high school friends :) They looked just just the same; just add hair length and hair colour. Bitching around, talking in Javanese language for 4 hours were fun hehe though i have to admit i am more comfortable talking in Bahasa or in English. Javanese need some extra effort, you know. We jumped to a 50,000 IDR worth taxi ride as soon as the mall closed. My mom was so tired walking the whole day.

I took my mom and my sister the next day to eat Gudeg Bu Wiwik at Wijilan, before my flight. The price for a portion of Gudeg + chicken + egg - 25,000 IDR - was quite epensive compared to other (that's according to C) but the taste was "oh so original!" Gudeg, which is made from jackfruit added with spices etc., can be extremely sweet for first-timers :) but that's how food is usually made in Jogja, sweet. One should combine the "gudeg" with the "krecek", one of it's spicy side dish. Accompany your food with tea, then you are officially in Jogja!

I met Beni and Vina again before i left. They helped me to get to Trans Jogja, heading to airport. My backpack was filled with dirty clothes, my belly filled with gudeg, my other bag filled with Bakpia Bu Sri Putri (my favourite "bakpia" brand) for friends and collega. I dragged my exhausted body to the airplane. Will be home any minute now.

I kissed my grandpa and my father goodbye, hoping to see them soon.
For what it's worth... I love Jogja, I will always love Jogja.


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